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How'd I get here?

Posted by Anonymous User 
Anonymous User
How'd I get here?
December 28, 2009 10:14PM
I have just joined this group. The reason I joined it is that I discovered about thirty minutes ago that the Peer Block application is installed on my computer, and to my knowledge, I've never installed it. It's on the following path:

"C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\StartMenu\Programs\PeerBlock\Help and Support."

I honestly don't know how it got on my machine. I never address the "All Users" segment, and I don't recall ever starting any of the software in that area of the machine. I discovered the application when a colleague e-mailed me three zipped files that I had requested. When I tried to unzip them, only one got unzipped. The other two were blocked. This is a minor disaster for me, since I need those files rather urgently.

While I was trying to figure out what had happened, I eventually got a message saying that I needed to start the application "Help and Support" to fix the problem. I had to search to find it on the above path, finally found it, invoked the routine, and got no help at all.

How do I fix this so that I can unzip those other two files? I really need to use them. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Re: How'd I get here?
December 28, 2009 10:36PM
Heya parrishr.

I'm afraid to tell you that PeerBlock's application doesn't work that way. The thing that PeerBlock does is inspect your network packets for information regarding Source and Destination then blocking them packets if criteria is filled.

Another thing... If it indeed is a legitimate PeerBlock application, I believe you have to consult to the people that have had access to your computer and demand explanation. As far as I know, the none in the PeerBlock group have yet (if ever) programmed some computer worm to spread the application to people's computers without their consent.

Regarding your compressed .zip files... If you were able to open one, but not the other two, then that would mean the other two were corrupted when you downloaded them into your computer. Either you try re-downloading those two files from the email attachments or have your friend to confirm that those files aren't corrupted by the time he sent them to you. In case it did get corrupted when he sent them to you, request your friend to re-send them.
Re: How'd I get here?
December 28, 2009 11:45PM
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that is correct, peerblock is an ip blocker only and we don't spread them around, you have too download them, peerblock has nothing to do with unzipping zipped files, id do what tippy said and goodluck. if you want a more safer secure internet connection id recommend reading what peerblock does and how it does it in our "FAQ" area and if it catches your interest to download the appropriate version you need.
Anonymous User
Re: How'd I get here?
December 29, 2009 12:21AM
Good evening, Tippy,

Thanks for the quick response.

I didn't really believe someone "sneaked" Peer Block onto my computer; I assumed it came with the machine. There's a heck of a lot of software that was already loaded on this thing when I got it that I've never invoked at all.

Another thought occurs to me: might it have been included with one of the anti-virus or anti-spam or other protective packages that I've purchased in the last four or five years? I'm not suggesting anything nefarious here; I might have bought a multi-purpose package without even noticing anything that did not relate directly to the particular software I wanted.

I'm also curious why Peer Block got invoked on this occasion. The only location where I can find a "Help and Support" title is inside Peer Block, on the path I copied into my first message. Would you have any idea why Windows would ask me to start the "Help and Support" service?
Anonymous User
Re: How'd I get here?
December 29, 2009 12:28AM
Hi, Brandonjm8,

Sorry, I didn't notice your message until I'd finished my reply to Tippy.

I accept your description of peerblock. However, I still can't figure the answer to two questions:

1. Since I'm almost certain that no one would download the application without my knowledge, or even could do it without a lot of trouble, can you suggest a way I could have downloaded it unwittingly myself? I'm equally almost certain that I've never downloaded it deliberately.

2. How the devil did Windows decide that I needed to start the "Help and Support" service?

I'll take your suggestion and give the application a closer look. Thanks.
Anonymous User
Re: How'd I get here?
December 29, 2009 12:53AM
Tippy and Brandonjm8,

I just did a little checking. I don't know whether the following will help either of us understand what happened tonight, but here's the experience I had.

As noted earlier, I received an e-mail with three zipped attachments. One of them got unzipped; the other two didn't. One of the two was named "SAMPLE.BAS.' When I tried to open it, I got this message:

""Windows found that this file is potentially harmful. To protect your computer, Windows has blocked access to this file."

When I clicked on "How does this help protect my computer?" Windows responded with, "Windows cannot open Help and Support because a system service is not running. To fix this problem, start the service named 'Help and Support.'"

The only place I could find that "service" was in the path that led me to Peer Block. Can either of you make any sense of this event?
Re: How'd I get here?
December 29, 2009 01:05AM
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Hi parrishr, sorry to hear you're having problems and it appeared as though PeerBlock is implicated.

First off, that PeerBlock "Help and Support" item is merely a start-menu folder for our software.  When Windows refers to "Help and Support" it is actually referring you to its own internal Help system because it detected that you were having problems.  Had we named our start-menu sub-folder name to something else like "PeerBlock Help", or "Documentation and Links", or "Spaghetti", there would have been no confusion. 

When PeerBlock was installed, it was installed "for all users".  Programs which should show up for all users show up under that "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\StartMenu\Programs" folder, appropriately enough.  smiling smiley  Nothing untoward going on there.

As to when/why/who installed it, I really couldn't tell you.  If you go into Add / Remove Programs, you should see an entry for PeerBlock in there; this should also be able to tell you on what date it was installed.  That might give you a clue as to who had access to your machine around that time.  PeerBlock has only been in existence since this spring, and was really operating as a "ghetto project" for the first few months.  I'm not aware of anybody redistributing PeerBlock, so wouldn't think it would have been bundled into any other software packages.  In all likelihood, you had someone over who was messing around with your machine, and installed it.

Hope that answers your questions.  And good luck getting those .zip files to open!

        ---  Mark  ---




Lead developer of PeerBlock
Re: How'd I get here?
December 29, 2009 01:08AM
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Looks like I missed your response as I was typing my own...  .BAS programs are scripts, and could potentially contain code which could do Bad Things to your computer if you were to accidentally execute it instead of opening it for viewing with, say, notepad.  Since nasty attachments like this are often viruses, your mail client refused to let you open it.  If you have your friend rename it to something like filename.ThisIsNotaBasFile prior to zipping it that should get it past your email (and/or virus-scanning) program.

        ---  Mark  ---

Edit: Oh, also, to resolve your "Help and Support service not running" problem try reading through this link and trying some of their suggestions...




Lead developer of PeerBlock



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/29/2009 01:12AM by MarkSide.
Re: How'd I get here?
December 29, 2009 01:29AM
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parrishr,

listen to markside, he's the head cheese over in these parts tongue sticking out smiley, he should be able to answer most if not all of your questions.
Anonymous User
Re: How'd I get here?
December 30, 2009 05:00PM
After trying your suggestion and a couple of others from people who are a lot smarter about computers and programming than I am, I conclude that my hard disk is corrupted somewhere. I'm going to reformat and reload it and go from there. Thanks for your contributions.
Re: How'd I get here?
December 30, 2009 05:11PM
If your hard disk is corrupted somewhere, then I highly advise against you to try to reformat. Because if hard disk is indeed corrupted then no reformatting will be able to solve your issue since it is a hardware issue and not a software issue. That's what I believe.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/30/2009 05:42PM by Tippy.
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